3. Emma’s back
I sat on the cold hospital chair breathing in then out. Mother was still sobbing and she couldn’t be consoled. My heart broke for her. I understand it isn’t easy losing the man you love in such an unexpected way.
It was still a shock. I expected him to make a full recovery but now he was dead and I had no idea how to feel.
We never saw eye to eye and even though he hated me. I loved him. He was after all my father so how could I not love him?
“You okay?” Rowan asks sitting down beside me.
He arrived about an hour ago and this is the first time he talked to me since he came. I didn’t know what to do with the concern he was showing. After all he has never taken my feelings into consideration before.
“Yeah” I manage to say.
I haven’t shed a tear since we were given the news. Maybe it was belated shock or maybe I ran out of tears for him. Right now I was doing all I could to stay afloat since everyone else was breaking down.
I see feet in my peripheral vision and when I look up I find Travis staring at me. Just like always there isn’t a flicker of warmth in his eyes when he looks at me. I know what I did was a wrong but I haven’t I paid enough for that night?
“What?” I ask him.
“Mom called Emma when dad got shot so she should be arriving soon. She still doesn’t know that dad didn’t make it” he says.
I hear Rowan’s sharp intake of air. That’s the only indication I need to know that her name still affects him. The warmth he provided just a few minutes ago turns cold and I know that once again I’ve lost him.
“I figured” I mumble because what else is there to say.
I haven’t spoken to her in years. I doubt she would want to be in the same vicinity as me given how much she hates me.
“I expect you to be cordial and give her space” mother adds, wiping the tears from her face.
“Mother, you know what you’re asking me is nearly impossible”
“I don’t care what’s possible or not. You ran my daughter off nine years ago with your betrayal. I won’t let you do that again especially now that your father is no longer with us and we need each other” she says through clenched teeth.
I hate how they keep throwing the past in my face. Haven’t I already paid enough for the actions I took when I was young and foolish? Yet they keep punishing me.
“In case you’ve forgotten I’m also your daughter or am I also dead to you?”
I don’t give her the chance to answer. I stand up and leave. I needed fresh air. I needed to think.
Once I’m outside I breathe in the cold air. Tears sting my eyes but I refuse to let them fall. What am I even doing here? Why did she bother calling me if she feels like she only has one daughter?
Part of me wants to walk away right now and never look back. After all, I never considered myself part of their family and they didn’t consider me as one of their own too. I should just leave and forget about them just like they seem to have forgotten about me.
“Ma’am are you James Sharp’s daughter?” a nurse appears scaring the shit out of me.
I nod my head after calming down my erratic beating heart.
“You’re needed. They’re viewing the body” she softly tells me, probably trying to be mindful of my feelings.
“Okay, just give me a minute”
She leaves after that giving me the space to make my decision. Despite his neglect, he still provided for me so I owe him. With that, I make a decision. I would give him a proper burial, then after that I would wash my hands from them.
They could be the perfect little family. They would no longer have to put up with me like they have been doing.
Going back inside, I ask for the direction to the morgue. By the time I get there, the rest had already finished viewing his body.
I look down at him. Lying cold in the slab. He looks so at peace. Kind of like he does when he is asleep. You would think that he is just resting. Instead he was dead. His soul long departed from his body.
“Goodbye father” I tell him.
I give him one last look before leaving the cold room. I shake off the heaviness that settles over my heart knowing he wasn’t the only one I would be saying goodbye to. They would never love me. It was time I let go of that fantasy.
I get to the waiting area and take the furthest seat. Mother was sorting out papers and bills. Travis was staring at the wall, looking lost and alone. Rowan was nowhere to be seen.
Sitting there, I think of all I have to do. It would be nearly impossible to avoid them but I was determined. This is the only way I knew to protect my peace. I was tired of being constantly in pain. Tired of my heart constantly being wounded by those around me.
I hear a commotion near me and I look up. That’s when I’m hit with her sight. She’s still as beautiful as ever. Long blonde hair, endless legs, heart shaped face and a S**y body that drives men crazy.
Travis is hugging her. Whispering comforting words. Something he didn’t do for me when I arrived. Just like always the longing and pain hits me, but I push it back.
They separate just as Rowan arrives. The moment he sees her, his knees buckle. I can see the way his Adam’s apple bobbles.
“Emma?” his word is chocked as he calls her name. So many emotions put on that one name.
Her head swivels in his direction. The moment their eyes meet, everything else fades away. It’s like nothing exists but the two of them. Quicker than the Flash can move, they’re in each other’s arms.
If I though seeing Travis hug Emma hurt then I had no idea how this would tear me apart. How it would destroy me.
Emma was back. Seeing her in Rowan’s arms, no one needed to tell me the truth that was always in my face. He was still madly in love with her even after all these years.